[1509-1547]

[1547-1558]

[1558-1603]

[1603-1625]


 
 
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Tudor / Stuart Timeline [1509-1547]


1509
[April] Eighteen-year-old Henry succeeds his father Henry VII to become Henry VIII. He immediately arrests two of his father's closest advisors, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley, and has them committed to the Tower.
[June] Henry marries Catherine of Aragon, widow of his brother Arthur, after being granted a special dispensation from the Pope.
1511
Henry sends two small scale expeditions: one to aid Margaret, regent of the Netherlands, against the Duke of Gueldres, and another to assist Ferdinand of Spain against the Moors.
[November] Henry joins the Holy League to form an alliance with Spain and the Papacy hoping it will soon pay off in his proposed war with France.
1512
[August] James IV marches a Scottish army across the Tweed, taking advantage of Henry's campaigning in France.
[September] Battle of Flodden. Even though Henry had renewed peace with his brother-in-law James IV of Scotland [married to Henry's older sister Margaret], the latter was concerned at Henry's ambitious pride. After forging an alliance with Louis XII of France, Henry's army under the control of the Earl of Surrey marched on the Tweed, defeating James at Flodden. James IV was slain in the foray, leaving an infant son to rule as James V.
1513
Battle of the Spurs, and the capture of Tournai.
[April] The Holy League is extended to include the Emperor Maximilian, whose daughter was once thought to be potentially Henry's first wife.
1514
Thomas Wolsey becomes Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of York.
1515
Thomas Wolsey is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and becomes Cardinal Wolsey.
1516
After five previous infants dying at childbirth or soon after, Catherine of Aragon finally gives birth to a daughter, Mary.
1517
[May] Rioting in London against among other things, the meteoric ascendancy of Wolsey and the influence of foreign owned businesses over English ones. Both commoners and nobles alike express concern. Speeches by a group of Dominican Friars rouse an already aggressive rabble against foreign traders and merchants in London. The crowd, led by one John Lincoln had planned to confiscate foreign businesses and if necessary, kill the merchants. Lincoln, and four other collaborators were later arrested and executed.
1518
Established by Wolsey, the Treaty of London is signed by twenty European states including France and the Empire, guaranteeing perpetual peace and amity.
1520
After concern at the election of Charles V of Spain as Holy Roman Emperor, Wolsey organises two summit meetings between Henry and Charles. Appearing more like a renaissance festival the summit is known as the Field of Cloth of Gold.
1521
Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham after making rash public statements regarding his proximity to the English throne (the accession was a prohibited subject with Henry due to his lack of a legitimate heir) is arrested and charged with high treason. A strong and vocal opponent of Wolsey, he is tried by a council of his peers, and found guilty. He is later executed on Tower Hill.
1522
Wolsey signs the Treaty of Bruges, effectively binding England to a war with France, even though the perception is that England will find it almost impossible to fund.
1523
Wolsey makes an unsuccessful attempt to extract from Parliament the money needed to bankroll the impending war with France.
1525
England's war chest is now empty and Wolsey becomes increasingly unpopular as he sends out commissioners to demand a new non-government tax.
1527
Cardinal Wolsey begins aiding Henry in his desire to divorce Catherine of Aragon. The affair strains the relationship between the English Monarchy and the See of Rome.
1530
Wolsey, after increasing anger at Henry's attempts to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled, and now facing stern opposition from the faction supporting Henry's designs on Anne Boleyn, fails to win the support of the Legatine Court (who opposed the divorce), costing him Henry's favour. Having been deprived of the Chancellorship, he is charged with a trumped up charge of praemunire (the exercising of ecclesiastical jurisdiction without the king's consent). He is later arrested for treason, although he dies at Leicester Abbey on his way to the Tower.
1533
[January] Henry marries Anne Boleyn, and in September, Elizabeth, the future queen is born.
[June] Parliament of Henry VIII extinguishes Papal authority in England, the Church of England is born, and the Dissolution of the Monasteries begins.
1534
Passing of the Act of Supremacy. Henry becomes head of the Church of England.
1536
Anne Boleyn is executed on a charge of infidelity. Eleven days later, Henry marries secretly Jane Seymour who had previously reconciled him with his daughter Mary.
1537
Northern England stirs under the lawyer Robert Aske and the Pilgrimage of Grace in response to the suppression and acquisition of religious houses, the plundering of northern coffers by southern landowners, and the escalation of taxes.
[October] Jane Seymour gives birth to a son, Edward, but she dies soon after.
1539
Passing of the Act of Six Articles, affirming transubstantiation, the sufficiency of communion of one kind, the prohibition of marriage by priests, the inviolability of vows of chastity, the validity of the private Masses, and expediency of auricular confession. The final Act of Dissolution is passed.
1540
Birth of Father Edmund Campion, later to lead the "Jesuit Invasion" of England, which began in 1580, and was seen as precursive to the introduction of harsh penalties for adherence to the Church of Rome.
The passing of the Bull"Regimini militantis ecclesiae" embodying a modified version of Ignatius Loyola's teachings, establishes the Society of Jesus. Ignatius is elected as the order's first general, and despite chronic ill health, rules the order for fifteen years.
Henry is tricked by Thomas Cromwell into a political marriage with Anne of Cleves. The Duke of Cleves rules a strategically important German state at the time. Henry has the marriage annulled by Parliament in July, and at the end of the month, Cromwell is executed.
On the same day as Cromwell is executed, Henry marries Catherine Howard, 19-year-old niece of the Duke of Norfolk.
1542
Catherine Howard and her lover, Thomas Culpepper, are executed. Henry prepares for another war with France, and in order to prevent a similar occurrence to 1513, provokes a skirmish with Scotland to enforce his strength. Subsequently James V, Henry's nephew, suffers a major loss at Solway Moss in November.
1543
Henry marries his sixth wife, Catherine Parr.
1545
Pope Paul III calls the Council of Trent to deal with doctrinal and disciplinary concerns and accusations aimed by the Protestants at the Catholic Church. Although originally proposed in 1539, political and religious turmoil prevented an earlier sitting. So officially begins the Catholic Counter Reformation.
1547
[January] Death of Henry VIII. Act of Six Articles is immediately repealed by Archbishop Cranmer and Somerset.
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